Carlton New Bridge
|Carlton New Bridge|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|East Riding of Yorkshire • North Yorkshire|
Carlton New Bridge is a crossing of the River Aire, and was opened on 10 September 1927, replacing the old toll bridge. The bridge is a box girder bridge, It provided an alternative route for traffic from the East Midlands to York, avoiding Doncaster. The A1041 multiplexes with A645 across the bridge. North Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire Councils are the joint Highway authorities.
Since 1911 the rural authorities of Goole and Selby, and then West Riding County Council, tried to purchase the old wooden toll swing bridge, built 1777, so as to free it from tolls but the owners increased their price each time an offer was made. This was partly down to the delay by the Councils, since traffic was increasing and thus increasing the value of the tolls. In other cases the amount paid had been twenty times the annual tolls. The toll bridge was owned by General Estates Company Ltd. of London and so had passed out of local hands.
When the price reached £12,500 the County Council decided to build a new bridge to the west of the toll bridge. Considerable improvement to the old bridge would have had to have been done in any case since the maximum weight it could carry was 3 tons and there was a steep ascent from both sides and a right angled bend on the south side. The Council was fortunate since the 1776 Carlton Bridge Act, which sanctioned the construction of the toll bridge, had no clause inserted which refused anybody the right to establish a ferry or other means of crossing the river within a mile of it. Most other toll bridge Acts included such a clause. In 1923 the Council agreed to borrow £38,000 for the construction of the new bridge.
There was some spin in the story by Leeds Mercury on the opening of the bridge since they mentioned that, during construction of the new bridge, the old Tollkeeper scowled at the giant rams and cranes throwing a free passage over the river! Also that he spit in the river with a particularly vicious gesture. Meanwhile the Yorkshire Post reported that the octogenarian Henry Wilton was not unduly upset and planned to retire. He had been a toll collector for over 60 years and had started on the turnpike roads. He thought it was about time that all bridges should be freed of tolls.
The old toll bridge was said to have been designed purely for horse traffic, but there had been some strengthening work on the piers about 1924. It had been built by Thomas Stapleton of Carlton Hall and replaced a previous ferry.
The New Bridge
This was 256 feet long and weighed 700 tons. It cost £64,000 and provided a 27 foot carriageway and two footpaths. There was also a better road alignment than the dangerous S-bend by the old bridge. The approach roads had fero-concrete viaducts and earthen embankments. The contractor for the bridge was Messrs. Sir William Arrol Limited.